Why awareness of women’s health and rights is vital in times of pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed inequalities in access to health care, contraception and other medical facilities. In this context, it is necessary for UN member states to launch awareness campaigns to highlight family planning and sexual and reproductive rights

Representative image/AFP

World Population Day aims to highlight the urgency to focus on overpopulation and how it can adversely affect the world.

With the global population expected to reach eight billion this year, there is a growing need to draw attention to challenges plaguing the world, such as poverty, gender inequality, violence, unequal distribution of resources and climate change.

In this context, raising awareness of the importance of family planning, maternal health and human rights is an important step. The United Nations announces a specific issue every year related to overpopulation, family planning, gender equality and so on.

Theme this year:

In 2022, the theme of World Population Day is “A World of 8 Billion People: Towards a Resilient Future for All – Seizing Opportunities and Ensuring Rights and Choices for All”.

What is the importance of this topic?

The theme highlights that while the world population will surpass eight billion this year, serious inequalities remain in access to health care, food, water and other resources. The United Nations aims to create healthier societies, empowered by rights and choices. This requires greater awareness of women’s health and rights.

What does that mean?

That means lowering negative indicators like maternal mortality rate, adolescent birth rate and more. In 2017, the maternal mortality rate was 217 per 100,000 live births. For the teenage birth rate, or the number of girls having a child between the ages of 15 and 19, the ratio was 40 per 1,000 girls.

To ensure healthier societies, we must see to it that these statistics are brought down.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed inequalities in access to health care, contraception and other medical facilities. In this context, it is necessary that member states of the United Nations launch awareness campaigns to highlight family planning and sexual and reproductive rights that are available in their country.

States should also ensure more equitable access to maternal health care options and contraception. Only in this way can we create a healthier and more productive population.

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